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marred by fraud, president karzai and his rival pulls out. president obama sends 30,000 more troops to afghanistan part of the surge. 180 die as ethnic violence erupts in western china haven't troops are sent in to restore order. western leaders accuse iran of building a second nuclear plant diss despite a u.n. ban. six years after the invasion, american troops hand over power in towns and cities. welcome to this week's news review, major stories seen on bbc during the second half of 2009. in july, six years after american-led forces invaded iraq, president obama has announced thetch withdrawn from the country's towns and cities but he warped difficult days lay ahead as iraqis celebrated. a car bomb in the northern city killed 25 people. e bbc's jim muir witnessed events in baghdad. >> despite the bombs an iraqi victory parade to celebrate the last american leaving baghdad and other cities. on the streets, jubilation. across the board, everyone is glad to see the americans go, it means iraqis are back in charge. >> today we saw great pleasure mixed with deep sorrow. the pleasure of
of canada about the cabinet picks for hamid karzai. what is the concern over the choices that president karzai is making? guest: he has now made two set of choices. he nominated one slate of cabinet officials, about 24 of them. 17 were rejected by the parliament. but arlin is in a healthy move, asserting itself. this is a good thing -- the parliament is, in a healthy move, asserting itself. this is a good thing, checks and balances. he looked at the first slate of nominees by president karzai and parliament did not like them. they did confirm the most important cabinet choices from president karzai, the minister of defense and the minister of interior, which handles all of the police. the minister of finance, the minister of agriculture, when the biggest recipients of assistance. -- one of the biggest recipient of assistance. those picks are clear. president karzai has recently over the weekend submitted a second state to replace those that were rejected the first time. these are lesser-known people. the second slate are lesser- known people. many people have not heard -- many afghans h
. president karzai told a conference that his company -- country was moving slowly toward national security. of the next 45 minutes, british and afghan leaders and the un secretary general outline their goals. general mcchrystal has the international forces serving with such distinction in afghanistan and soon to be over 100,000 strong. foreign ministers, distinguished guests representing over 70 nations and international organizations, including every single member of the 43 nation strong international security assistance force. representing also afghanistan's key regional and muslim partners with whom we are pleased to work and his involvement in this worldwide coalition to support peace and stability in this crucial region are especially welcome to. this is a decisive time for the international cooperation that is helping the afghan people secure and govern their own country. for this conference marked the beginning of the transition process, of bring the necessary conditions under which we can begin district by district, a provident -- province by province, the transferring of responsib
karzai government who stole the election and ruled only topple. so much of afghanistan is effectively run by the taliban. in addition, we've had eight years with the u.s. has isolated between the kinetic counterterrorism strategy and a counterinsurgency strategy that tries to protect people. and we have seen the last oscillation of that. this happened during the bush administration, and now it's happening again in the obama administration that we are moving back to a counterinsurgency strategy. now besides afghanistan being a much harder, not to crack that iraq we now have a lot of domestic factors affecting the u.s. policy. the american public is war weary after two wars stretched out over many years. and i think it's politically perilous for any politician in a democracy to escalate a war that is already unpopular, even lbj didn't do that when he escalated the vietnam war. u.s. spending in afghanistan is more per year than any other military spends on the planet. so we're dumping a lot of resources into afghanistan. the afghan war is expected to cost another trillion dollars over the ne
in the afghan parliament was a stinging rebuke to president hamid karzai, rejecting 17 of his 24 cabinet nominees. the prize move caused new disarray. two months after karzai was declared winner of a presidential election plagued by fraud. today karzai ordered parliament to cancel its winter break so it vote on a new list of nominees that he's now preparing. he's under pressure to show progress in governing by january 28 when an international conference on the afghan mission convenes in london. among the rejected nominees was influential word lord khan and the only woman karzai had named. lawmakers criticized many on the list as unqualified political cronies. several holdovers in vital posts were approved. among them the defense minister and the minister of interior. along with the ministers of finance, education, and agriculture. i spoke to afghan ambassador today and asked him how big a setback this was to karzai. >> it may be a temporary setback for the president but it's a step forward for the democracy in afghanistan. it's really happy for the parliament of afghanistan to do their j
with karzai. this is an opportunity for us to make sure that more draconian steps are taken and said if they steps that have yielded little results. >> i could not agree with you more. i cannot disagree with you at all. this is a moment and it will take a tough hand. >> i noticed the vote has not gone off. and to set fashion, which are drifting along here. -- in truth senate fashion, we are drifting along here. >> i'd prefer to look at this as an opportunity to finish my questions. i.t. why for being here and for your insights. -- thank you for your being here a year and says. my first question before i ask more about the long term, if each of you are satisfied that everything is currently being done that can be done with the short-term relief efforts, dr. former, you talk about how slow the relief efforts are and to a great extent that is because of the lack of infrastructure. is there more than should be done right now to address those relief efforts? >> thank you. i think there is a mismatch between the degree of interest and resources that we as a nation are putting in and the ab
cabinet nominees. the prize move csed new disarray. two months aer karzai was clared winner of a presential election plagued byraud. today karzai ordered parliament to cancel its winter bak so it ve on a new list of nomine that he's now preparing. 's under pressure to show progress igoverning by january 28 wn an inrnational conference on the afghan missi convenes in lond. among the rejected nominees was inuential word lord khan and e only woman karzai had named. lawmers criticized many on the list as unqualied litical cronies. sevel holdovers in vital posts were approd. among th the defense minister and the minisr of interior. along with the ministe of finance, educati, and agriculture. i spoke to afghan ambassor today and asked him how bia setbk this was to karzai. >> imay be a temporary setback for e president but it's a step forwd for the democracy in afgnistan. it's really happy fothe parliament of afghistan to do theirob the way they are supposedo be doing. >> warner: that seems like strange reacti. a tback for the president but you think it's a good thing? >> we are bu
karzai and his leadership to address this. >> what's your sense of that? have you seen any change in president's karzai steps? >> he's looking to ministers. he and i actually talked about this. his strategic intent is there. what struck me in meeting with these elders was the evolution of this corruption. so, it wasn't something that was always there. it's been over the last decade or so that they spoke to it. these same elders said to me that they were embarrassed that the united states soldier, sailors, airmen, marines were dying for them. they want to lead this effort. they appreciate what we've done, but they really want to lead this effort and this is something i know the president, president karzai is trying to engender in his leadership with his people. >> but what you talk about the leadership issue. you talked in the past about interviews about the critical need of good, local leadership. president karzai, by many accounts, is not moving forward in his second term. you know, his appointments to the cabinet were largely rejected by parliament and many on grounds that these
others have spoken to the need for president karzai and his leadership to address this. >> what's your sense of that? have you seen any change in president karzai's footsteps? >> initially -- he was -- looking to ministers and he and i actually talked about this in his strategic intent is there. what struck me in meeting with these elders was the evolution of this corruption. so it wasn't something that was always there. it has been over the last decade or so that they spoke to it. these same elders said to me that they were embarrassed, that the united states soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines were dieing and they want to lead this effort. they appreciate what we have done but they really want to lead this effort and this is something i know the president, president karzai, is trying to engender in his leadership with his people. >> you talk about the leadership issue and talked in the past and in interviews about the critical need of good local leadership. president karzai, by many accounts, is not moving forward in his second term. the -- his appointments to the cabinet were largely
to have -- that's part of the equation, and we have to have the karzai government show us that we -- it is going to truly reform. >> let's start with the karzai government, senator mccain. while you are there, president karzai is trying another time to get his cabinet approved. if he does not have faith that these people are not corrupt, if we can't get to that simple first step, how can we build institutions or repair roads and put them to work and educate them in afghanistan and build the confidence that trust the central government and not the taliban? >> they have a long way to go in the area of corruption. but the fact the parliament rejected his nominees, i think you can see a democratic process moving forward. president karzai recognizes what he just has been through was an important lesson to him. we have to keep pressing on the corruption issue. let me tell you two other things that concern me. first of all, i think we have the right strategy and the right resources and the right leadership. we went outside kandahar to an operating base where americans and afghan soldiers
this week. move in return for this additional commitment, we must agree with president karzai's plan for the expansion of the afghan army and police. we will agree today that the afghan national army will # 134,000 by october 2010. and more by 2011. we will commit to supporting a police report with afghan national police numbers preeti 9000 by october of this year. this is a present bigger than our coalition forces. we need more international trainers to do this. we are doubling the number of military teams for the afghan police starting in april of this afghan security forces will be 300,000. international forces will rise to 135,000. the balance will continue to ship toward afghan security control. as president obama made clear last month, by the middle of next year, we have to turn the tide in the fight against the insurgency and also in our work to support the afghan government. today we affirm that the increase in our military efforts must be matched with governance in economic development, a surge to match and complement the current military surge. we have agreed today to back
. >>> nominations for tommy to karzai or reject it. it at the end of the vote, 70% of the nominees were rejected. karzai says he will make new nominations for the posts but it is not clear when it will be announced. >>> families gathered in pakistan to mournthe death of 96 people killed at a bombing at a volleyball game. funerals were held today. t bomber set off by 4 pounds of explosive yesterday. the village and northwest pakistan had tried to heal but many are too scared to speculate about the blast. >>> up next, a dramatic or rescue. -- up next a dramatic river rescue. and how long will the freezing temperatures to around? steve rudin will track the latest developments. >>> d.c. schools face major budget cuts, but chancellor michelle rhee says she will fight to get money for classrooms and classroom supplies. areas facing sharp cuts include security, food service, and other programs under the school support category. comes from falling tax revenues and the end of the federal stimulus spending. >>> you may want to bring your own back the next time you shop in the district. a new fee would int
to have the karzai government show us that we, that it is going to truly reform. >> well, let's start with the karzai government. senator mccain, while you were there, president karzai is trying another time to get his cabinet approved. if he cannot even get a cabinet approved and he does not have the faith of other people in their government that they're not corrupt. if we can't get to that simple first step, how can we build institutions and how can we repair roads and put people to work and educate them in afghanistan and build the confidence of the afghan people that trust your central government, not the taliban? >> well, they have a long way to go in the area of corruption, but the fact that the parliament rejected his nominees, i think you can look at a democratic process moving forward. i believe that president karzai recognizes that what he's just been through was an important lesson to him. we have to keep pressing on the corruption issue. but let me tell you two other things that concern me, first of all, i think we have the right strategy and the right resources and the ri
problem, and we have to have -- that's part of the equation, and we have to have the karzai government show us that we -- it is going to truly reform. >> let's start with the karzai government, senator mccain. while you are there, president karzai is trying another time to get his cabinet approved. if he cannot even get a cabinet approved, he does not have the faith of other people in his government that these people aren't corrupt, they know how to do the basics of good governance. if we can't get to that simple first step, how want we build institutions and build roads, put people to work and build confidence in the afghan people, trust your central government, not the taliban? >> they have a long way to go in the area of corruption. but the fact the parliament rejected his nominees, i think you could look at a democratic process moving forward. i believe president karzai recognizes that what he's just been through was an important lesson to him. we have to keep pressing on the corruption issue. let me tell you two other things that concern me. first of all, i think we have the right
hamid karzai told the conference that is country is moving slowly toward national security but that training security forces could take years. at an opening session this morning, the british and that an leaders and the un secretary general outlined their goals for the conference. . . >> in the last year britain has suffered hundreds of fatalities per he to the countries represented today recognizes that this mission is vital for our national security. it is vital to the stability of this crucial region and it is vital to the security of our world. we set out last autumn on strategies and we're making progress. the military search is turning to the tide against the taliban- led insurgency. it is at the same time building the capacity of the afghan forces who are fighting alongside us. a civilian surge is insuring that areas are cleared of the taliban and our stabilization teams go in to work with local to halt ground that has been a superdelegate. britain is proud that we lead the largest civilian reconstruction team in afghanistan. during 2009, we doubled the number of brit
. the fighting raged citywide for nearly five hours. today's grizzly attacks came just as afghan president karzai was swearing in members of his new cabinet. ambassador richard holbrook, u.s. special envoy to the region who just left kabul hours earlier told reporters in india that he wasn't surprised. >> they're ruthless. the people who are doing this certainly will not survive the attack nor will they succeed. but we can expect this sort of thing on a regular basis. >> warner: the taliban claims responsibility for today's attacks telling the associated press they had sent 20 militants to do the job. it was the militants' answer to karzai's recently renewed offer of reconciliation with the taliban said the u.s. institute of peace. >> the taliban spokesperson said today in claiming responsibility for the attack that they were trying to undermine or disrupt the notion that the taliban could be bought off, that they could be lured off the battlefield and instead to demonstrate that they are united and they are committed to their cause. they sent these suicide bomber into the heart of kabul. >> warn
government as well. guest: years ago when he met with hamid karzai at a dinner, someone said to him, mr. president, how are you going to address this problem of corruption? in fact, he said, what problem? joe biden, famously -- dinner was over -- he threw his napkin down and said, this dinner is over, and walked out. nothing has happened to defrost his relations with president karzai. both biden and richard holbrooke have terrible relations with karzai. host: james traub is with us to talk about the influence of joe biden. republicans, 202-737-0001. democrats, 202-737-0002. independents, 202-628-0205. you can send us an e-mail or tweet us at. next phone call. caller: i think our president is doing very well. if we wanted joe biden as president, he would be president. i like the idea that our president is intelligent. he is not a puppet, like the last eight years. i think he is doing what he is supposed to be doing. host: james traub? guest: i guess i would agree, in general. he believes he could be a good president. i believe this is almost a desirable alternative. he is a very knowledg
more than a mile away. it came just as president karzai was swearing many members of his new cabinet. hours after the main attack, there's still reports of sporadic gun fire. and much of the central city remains under total lockdown. despite the relative calm now, officials fear there may be more suicide bombers still on the loose in kabul tonight. >> october 28, gunmen stormed a guest house used by u.n. staff. 11 people were killed in that attack. >> five local students accused of plotting terrorist attacks say they have been mistreated while they were in custody in pakistan. . pakistani police say e-mails from the group show they had contacted the taliban and they were planning terror attacks. the men had a court hearing today and while a van was taking them away from the hearing, they shouted that they were being tortured. police deny the men are being mistreated. >> there's a special election in massachusetts tomorrow to fill the u.s. senate seat held by the late senator edward kennedy. even though massachusetts is considered a staunchly democratic state, that race is tight. pole
't have to continue. khzaei -- karzai was a great hope. everyone no knows him respected him. he might change his mind. the pressures that led him to permit and maybe support this corrupt structure could be reversed over time. the people up and down that structure might change their mind. the parliament is -- has stood up against his nominations. who's knows who's going to happen up and down that road. if we succeed in something that we can do, peter has pointed out the crucial important to the kandahar road. than doesn't be impossible to secure that. that changes the economic nature of southern afghanistan. it could get better. >> if i could just add one point. there's no question that the ghost of vietnam haunts this administration. i can tell you from being in it for 60 days. the ghost of what happened to lyndon johnson walks the corridors of this white house, it walks the corridors of this building every day. it's a mistake. we got to get over it. we got to stop fighting the vietnam war. i don't know whether we could have won or not, but it is not relevant to afghanistan. as marc p
. the book centers on this incident which i described where u.s. special operators blocked hamid karzai's planned governor for kabul. she interweaves into it a very well-written and interestingly a history that is well-written, well-organized, and based on a lot of her own research with the original sources. a second really important understanding of the country can be gotten from joe haversty's book "the opium season" which details a year in which he was involved in as a subcontractor in the usaid efforts in 2 004-2005 to provide alternative livelihood's to draw with the work force from up opium production. it gives a great view of the violence and corruption. and moreover it shows the bureaucratic profiteering and dysfunction that is increasing the complexity and cost of our involvement, not just in war, but in development. a third source, and i think it is outstanding if you want to understand the country is rory stewart, who within weeks after the fall of the taliban walked to kabul in the winter which is supposed to kill you and through pashtun villages and described that experienc
. karzai -- having legitimacy, and i do not think we have that. this will depend on achieving security, which i think is achievable, and with good government comes with our own money invested in jobs. without jobs, afghanistan will not be a positive scenario in the future, but i must conclude by pointing out that this is not going to affect our domestic national security, as we see with the last three plots. the underwear bomber came from nine cheerio region with -- came from nigeria. one of them came from somalia, and major hassan came from washington, d.c. thank you very much. [applause] >> peter has to leave at 11:00, so he should take the first few questions, and there is a microphone in the back of the room for anyone who would like to ask a question. >> i work 30 years of the journalists. i retired two years ago. my question is for peter. what i hear now is exactly what i was hearing before the iraq war, and the promise was saddam hussein was on popular. then we will have a democracy. now it is an islamic system. there is a hypothesis that afghan people love us. the last point i
karzai and afghanistan about corruption, and let him look at our government, he can say, for enough money, you can get anything passed. let me explain what that means for other states and what it means for the state of tennessee. right now, we have 50 less state troopers than we had in 1977, and we have two million more people. . without going back to the senate, go straight to the president, we have 15 million more people who have medicaid. with that comes an obligation from the state to pay for that. we don't have any money to pay for it. right now, our colleges do not have one capital improvement project on a single college campus, the university of tennessee and the 26 board of regents. not a library, dormitory or chemistry lab. we can't add any more people to our medicaid and medicare plans. mr. gingrey: some of the teachers in the great volunteer state are having to take furloughs and leaves of absences and that kind of thing. mr. roe: we are in the 1940's in education. here is another unfunded mandate that comes to the state and nebraska, the people in nebraska don't have to pay fo
and come over to the government's side. hamid karzai is willing to reconcile is taliban leaders with you the offer is not for anyone in al qaeda. leaders have been pushing for a program to entice militants. they must recognize afghanistan's constitution. >> the taliban are welcome to return to to their own country and work for peace in order for us to be able then to have the u.s. and other forces have the freedom to go back home. >> shannon: nato will conduct an investigation into a strike on a outpost. it was called for yesterday after soldiers fired on u.s. and afghanistan commandos. the afghan soldiers thought the unit was taliban militants and call it an unfortunate incidents. >> world leaders of the international conference on afghanistan agreed to a timetable obscurity duties but other issues remain unresolved. joining us, michael owe o'han lynn. >>> so this idea of reconciling with some of the taliban or inviting them to join the government in what it's trying to do, is it a good idea? >> it's early. we haven't established momentum on the battlefield. once we do, an offer can be
stated to be beginning about 18 months after to give karzai and his regime enough time to stand up and fight for itself. we will see. host: we have our numbers on the screen and we will get to the calls in immelman. -- in a moment. you laid out a number of issues which have to be practical issues that have to be dealt with, but the fact of the matter is that you bring vietnam and it becomes a political issue as well. tell us how you view this as a political issue. guest: the lesson that we need to learn, i think, from john kennedy's experience is this. he was with -- he was withdrawing at the time. we have the classified documents. but he did not tell the truth to the american people why? for political reasons. he wanted to get it reelected in 1964. he had begun to order the withdrawal in 1963. host: and these would have been the trainer said you talked about. guest: 16,000 of visors, not combat troops. but my point is that obama should not repeat that experience. he is clearly going to do the best that we can in a given amount of time, but what we face the prospect -- if we face t
. lay down your guns and accept afghan law. this latest appeal from president karzai is part of a program to get militants to abandon the growing afghan insurgency. karzai is making it clear his offer of reconciliation does not i can tend to al qaeda. >>> in neighboring pakistan, reports that the region's taliban leader is dead. there are questions whether he is dead or alive. an unnamed taliban source claims that he is alive and in hiding. u.s. officials want to know his status because massoud is linked to some of the taliban's deadliest attacks in pakistan and suicide attack in afghanistan that killed seven cia officials. >> reporter: the pakistani military investigating a report that taliban leader massoud was buried friday. the report appeared on pakistan's state-run immediate why. other pakistani immediate why outlets picked up on the story and reported it as well but senior government and military officials say they cannot verify the report. we spoke to pakistan's top militant spokesperson and said the military is investigating the matter in the tribal region and said b
fighters, the karzai government has been working closely with general mcchrystal's staff under the leadership of a british major general to construct a plan offering incentives to low- and mid-level taliban fighters who are willing to lay down their weapon and recognize the afghan government's authority. president karzai has said that he will be ready to issue this plan within a month or so, and u.s. officials expect to be fully supportive. it will take a few months after that to make the plan operational. while there is apparently no progress to negotiate with higher level taliban to end the violence and become politically active, it doesn't reduce the need to chip away at that lower-level taliban group. we read in the press today that progress is being made. as a matter of fact, with leaders, local leaders in afghanistan in that endeavor. in conclusion, we saw some signs of progress on our visit in a number of critical ways, in training and equipping afghan security forces, in partnering closely in the field with the afghan security forces and a perception and reality of opti
. lot of our senior team in the country. spend 90 minutes with president karzai and most importantly we got out to a agaabad valley and met with the team on the ground there. i told the president in february and i kept my word to him, that if he would give our soldiers the resources they needed to get the job done and come home safe he'd have our support. i expressed the night of the president's west point address concern about the timetable of withdrawal. july of 2011 beginning withdrawal. i don't think it makes sense on a battlefield to tell the enemy when you're going to stop fighting. [applause]. so - i'm - i was pleaseed the president called for reinforcements but i wanted to ask tough questions. what i can report to you as general mcchrystal actually answers to people like me but i answer to people like you so i'll report to you, that i'm told that they have the resources and personnel in the decision that the president has made to get the job done. um... - if they have the time to do it. that's issue. i talked to the afghan leaders and rank and file military afghan militants in t
karzai and with his cabinet on numerous occasions, notably with the trip that hillary clinton and i had made to afghanistan on october 18 and 19 in conjunction with the inauguration. the afghans understood this, they are very comfortable with it. so i need to underscore that's what july 2011 means. not a withdraw, but the start of a responsibility transition in which american combat troops will begin to draw down. on the second question and in regard to pakistan, i'm not sure quite how you phrase it. strobe, you made a generic comment? >> mike hamlin and his colleagues have put together a set of bench marks on sort of how things are going. and the trend that they feel they have identified in pakistan is ominous, negative by comparison with a year ago. >> yeah. i read mike's monthly, it's quarterly, actually, isn't it? i read mike's quarterly table with great interest. and it@@@@@@p it's a common problem i've seen in every war i've been involved in. let's not confuse the number of cell phones with low the war is going. let's not minimize that cell phone penetration is a hugely important
president hamid karzai declared the situation was under control. about mid morning, several, maybe as many as a dozen or so taliban militants stormed government buildings, including the ministry of justice and ministry of finance, they also took over a shopping mall and a movie theater. this was a very complex, very well organized attack. about an hour after the first shots were fired, an ambulance pulled up to a police checkpoint, in theory there to help the hurt and wounded, but an insurgent was inside and detonated a bomb, killing at least one person at that site. over the entire area, about a 2-mile area where all the attacks were going on, five people were killed and nearly 40, jane, were injured. jane: connor, these attack necessary kabul generally have been happening more and more. what impact are they having? >> jane, it's been devastating here. the international community, much of it is pulling back, some of the international community is pulling out. i talked to international workers, aid workers, u.n. staff, every day to say they're leaving. it's simply too dangerous here. i sho
ability for governments. this was discussed at length to present karzai, and with his cabinet on numerous occasions, notably in putting the trip that hillary clinton and i made an afghanistan in october 18 and 19th in conjunction with president karzai's inauguration. the afghans understood this. they are very comfortable with it. . . to underscore that's what july 2011 means. not a withdraw, but the start of a responsibility transition in which american combat troops will begin to draw down. on the second question and in regard to pakistan, i'm not sure quite how you phrase it. strobe, you made a generic comment? >> mike hamlin and his colleagues have put together a set of bench marks on sort of how things are going. and the trend that they feel they have identified in pakistan is ominous, negative by comparison with a year ago. >> yeah. i read mike's monthly, it's quarterly, actually, isn't it? i read mike's quarterly table with great interest. and it helped -- influenced me a lot as we tried to develop our own benchmarks. but i think we have to be very careful about two things. maybe th
as the prime minister of pakistan and are meeting with president karzai. it was an interesting juxtaposition as we looked to the military component what is happening on the government's side in both pakistan and afghanistan. when it comes to the governance issue in afghanistan, in our meeting with president karzai, he stressed very much the significance of the upcoming parliamentary elections. the need to ensure that under the afghan constitution, that process moves forward to clearly define or establish the legitimacy of the afghan government and their processes as they move ahead. we also had an opportunity to visit the police training centers there in kabul. very important to understand the progress that is being made at the afghan army is being trained. they truly are operating at a deficit in terms of the numbers and bringing more recruits in, but what they have seen in the past several months has been remarkable in terms of the numbers of recruits that have come in. we met with the minister of defense, who indicated that just in the past month, the number of recruits that they have rec
to the afghan government and to america today. just as president karzai was swearing in new cabinet members, suicide bombers attacked downtown kabul. at least five people died, dozens were wounded. cnn's dan rivers was there. >> reporter: a pitched battle in the center of kabul, afghan forces fought for more than three hours with taliban insurgents holed up in several buildings. we've been listening to sustained gunfire coming from down the road. you can see in the distance there is a building on fire which we believe may be a market and we're being told that there are a number of taliban fighters who are attacking near the serena hotel right in the heart of kabul and a lot of gunfire and explosions going on. people in the center of kabul were running for their lives. women and children terriified and confused. some angry they hadn't seen any isaf troops. >> you can see all these afghan soldiers. there no one from foreign troops. counter insurgency, there's insurgents and there's the place that they should cooperate shoulder to shoulder with us. with the government of afghanistan. >> report
gear as losing its cachet and they point to the fact that president karzai began wearing this hat as an attempt to devise the war broke the was afghan rather than fm or regional but there is a quote in here from an afghani saying now it is clear mr. karzai is a passion. do you have confidence in the government, do you have concerns? >> guest: i have confidence and concerns just as i did in iraq. we have to understand the huge challenges the leaders in both of these countries face literally just in staying alive. i got to know hamid karzai when i first got to afghanistan at the beginning of 2002 when he had only been in office a few weeks himself. eight years later he's still in office facing extraordinarily challenges. and there are clearly a lot of problems and things he has to work on and things we have to do in support of him but i had the opportunity to get to know him personally and whatever hat he may be wearing at the moment one thing i absolutely persuaded is he is an afghan national list. >> host: next on call river hit new york on the republican line. >> caller: ambassad
attacked key government targets. president karzai says that security has finally been restored. we will bring you more on this story from the news desk in just a moment. >>> but first, we want to write you the latest on the disaster in haiti as of this morning. despite the massive international relief effort, millions of haitians remain without food, water and medical care. some aid workers there blame the bottleneck at the u.s. controlled airport. this is leading to increased incidence of violence. two 2,000 american marines are due to arrive today, some of who will assist with security. former president clinton is also slated to arrive today to meet with haitian president rene preval. and today six days after this earthquake, rescue crews are still pulling survivors from the rubble. my partner, harry smith, witnessed one of these rescues. he make his with a to port owe prince over the weekend and joins us this morning live. harry, good morning. >> reporter: good mrorning. from weary ravaged port-au-prince, this is a seen quite typical of many neighborhoods where buildings just co
, thereby taking the initial i.e.c. count to 54.-- 54 point something percent and having president karzai accept that, which i think was a good step for afghanistan. of course the runoff never happened but at least the e.c.c. was able to maintain its independence and show that the rule of law does matter to some degree in afghanistan. so with that, let me briefly introduce our three distinguished speakers and turn it over to them to speak just for a few minutes, probably no more than 10 minutes each if you can keep it to that, so we can have a frank and vibrant discussion and q&a session after that. to my far left, scott warden who just returned to the institute here. he's a senior rule advisor with usit, who was on a leave of absence to work as one of the three international members of the electoral complaints commission. he was also involved in the elections in 2005 for parliament when he was with the jdmb. you have their buy yows in front of you, i won't go into too much detail on that. isabel root is desk officer for the e.a.d. at the department of political affairs at the united nati
karzai. i point that out simply because of the proximity to the seat of power theoretically in that country. afghan officials said three soldiers and two civilians were killed. 71 others wounded in that shooting. each of the seven militants were ultimately killed. nbc's chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski is live from kabul with the latest. how are we to interpret this level of violence, jim, this close to the seat of power in that country? >> reporter: you know, the timing was unmistakable. the very time the taliban launched these attacks, president hamid karzai just inside the walls of the presidential palace was starting to swear in members of his new cabinet. so, you know, that timing wasn't lost on anybody. and what's interesting about this, is that while u.s. military officials are now praising the afghan security forces for beating back this attack today, the question is, how did they get those forces so close to the presidential palace in the first place? particularly because western intelligence officials have been predicting this very kind of attack, a co
the delegation. we rallied the world behind the administration's new strategy. since then, karzai has been re-elected, a messy election, but it's done. president obama's announced the 30,000 troops you just referred to. and it's a very good time to bring the world back together to reaffirm its support and to move to the next stage, because we're now -- 2010 is going to be a year of heavy implementation. >> is about getting money from these -- >> no, this is not a pledging conference. enough of those for the time being. countries are coming through, the japanese have just quadrupled their aid. we're going to increase our assistance in many ways, but this is about policy. >> now, let's go to afghanistan's attempts to try to get the taliban, at least not the leaders of the taliban, but sort of the rank and file of the taliban reintegrated in some form in the government. is this possible -- we see that every attempt, it feels like one step forward, three steps back at this point. >> let's not confuse two things. reintegration and reconciliation. i know these are complicated words, but reconciliat
. >>> at a security summit in london afghan president hamid karzai described his plan to reintegrate taliban fighters into a law-abiding society if they promise to renounce violence. the idea is to lure them back to civilian life with jobs and housing. karzai secured $140 million in pledges to fund this effort which was endorsed by secretary of state hillary clinton. and others. >>> the senate today confirming ben bernanke for a second term as chairman of the federal reserve. by one of the smallest margins of all time. the vote 70-30. >>> the author of "catcher in the rye" j.d. salinger has died. the book was his only novel and sold more than 60 million copies since its publication back in 1951. salinger was well known as a recluse who shunned publicity. he was 91, anderson. >> sad news with that. >>> coming up, salesmen in chief. reaction to the state of the union address preaching to the base. did he win over independents? supreme showdown between justice alito and the president. a fascinating moment. what was behind the scowl, though? why the nasty look? we'll get an insider's briefing from jeffre
described where u.s. special operators blocked karzai's planned governor for kabul but she interweaves into it a very well written and interestingly -- history that is well written and well organized and -- and based on a lett of her own research with the original sources, a second reading -- rell important understanding of the country can be gotten from joel's book the opium season. and that details a year in which he was involved in a -- as a -- subcontractor in u.s. a.i.d. efforts in 2004 and 2005 to provide alternative livelihoods, to -- to draw away the work force from opium production. and it gives a great view of the violence and corruption and this complex tribal and world relations. and moreover, it shows the bureaucratic prove fit tiering and dysfunction that -- is -- is increasing the complexity and cost of our involvement, not just in war but in -- in development. a third source and it is outstanding if you want to understand the country is roshy stewart, wo within weeks after the fall of the taliban walked from iraq to kabul in the winter, which is supposed to kill you. an
an interim government in afganistan to be led by its interim president hamid karzai. despite the early success al qaeda's leadership was able to find a safe haven in pakistan's tribal areas. a few years later it gained enough strength to once again pose a serious threat to the u.s. meanwhile the taliban reestablished its headquarters in pakistan and gained enough strength as a result of inadequate afghanistan security forces. by last year the situation had grown so pa perilous that generl stanley mcchrystal issued a report stating that our failure to gain the initiative and reverse the momentum of the taliban within 12 months to make defeating the insurgency impossible. it was largely as a result of that assessment that the president agreed last year to send 30,000 more troops to afganistan. earlier this month i and some of my colleagues had the opportunity to visit afganistan and pakistan to assess the situation on the ground firsthand. among other things, we saw progress in the crucial southern provinces of kandahar. though in the early phases general crystal's -- mcchrystal's plan t
karzai says order has been restored. >>> already questions about the treatment of five local students being held in pakistan on suspicion of terrorism ties. they were yelling out that they are being tortured. they made the claims as they left a pakistani courthouse. the men were arrested last month. authorities believe they are linked to al-qaeda and were plotting attacks in pakistan. they face life in prison if convicted. >>> president barack obama will deliver his first state of the union speech wednesday of next week, january 27th. he will address a joint session of congress beginning at 9:00 in the evening. that speech will be broadcast live and will be streamed on the white house web site. >>> there is just unimaginable devastation in haiti, possibly more than 200,000 people dead. so why is a cruise ship still docked outside port owe brings? >> we'll get an explanation on that and a warm act of kindness from area children hoping to help those in haiti. >>> also coming up in just a few melts, we'll update you on today's weather forecast. not going fob i bad day today. another mild
. they are the first combat casualties in afghanistan this year. afghan president hamid karzai has ordered parliament to postpone the winter recess until he announces a new list of cabinet nominees. last week, lawmakers rejected 17 of his 24 selections. well, some history was made last month in iraq. correspondent molly henneberg reports on a side of progress in the almost 7-year-old conflict. >> reporter: no u.s. troops died in combat operations in iraq in the month of december, military leaders say. the first month without combat fatality since the war started in 2003. >> that is a fairly significant milestone for us as we continue to move forward. i think it also speaks to the level of violence and how it's decreased over time. >> reporter: overall, combat deaths have been on the decline since may 2007 when 120 u.s. service men and women were killed. the second highest per month total since the beginning of the war. within a month, all of the additional 30,000 troops ordered by president bush to surge into iraq had arrived. the following april there were 40 combat deaths, the highest in 2008. 13 c
on afghanistan, the london conference will be attended by president karzai the u.n. secretary general vana and 60 nations will be represented. we will be announcing new figures for nato forces and for afghan forces in the time to come. and we will be focusing on how the political and civilian surge that we plan in afghanistan can match and complement the military service that is taking place. on wednesday, the day before the first international meeting will be held to agree how we can strengthen support for yemen in its efforts against al qaeda and how we can help the government of yemen with the development and governance. as i said last week in a common statement i made on security, we know that there are terrorist groups with plans to hinchliffe damage on our country and we are always on alert. we will be vigilant against those who seek to destroy and undermine our democracy and our way of life. let me add one thing also at this morning. i sent my condolences to president harari and prime minister mellis after the crash of the ethiopian airways flight on the coast of lebanon and we are working
accusations against president karzai's relatives, brothers, part of this drug trade. >> we are talking about two different subject matters here. certainly the minister in afghanistan is very weak. he has no ability to enforce the law. it is nothing. it is sort of a moral role. i guess that is what tom meant when he says it is ineffective. certainly he's very clear. i never had one single word against him in terms of him being involved. then there is a different element, which i brought up, the question of corruption. corruption in kabul. corruption in the provinces. corruption in the army. that's a different issue and i would consider it one of most dangerous ones and one of the most urgent to be dealt with. >> gretchen, last word to you. as this re-assessment of afghan policy goes on, as this crisis in governance in afghanistan is playing itself out, how is this going to help or hinder, more like likely, the effort to control the drugs? >> well, i think at the same time that the drug problem creates challenges. it also presents opportunities. my research among the people of afghanistan and
nominees for president karzai's cabinet. one of them was the only female nominee. what does this say about the is stability of afghanistan? >> reporter: it could say two things right now. it could say one, that the afghan government were not obviously happy with president karzai's choices. many parliamentarians have said he basically chose people who helped him during the campaign that he made promises to so he could get the presidency again. another way of looking at this, it's democracy in action. here you have the parliament who are turning down president karzai's choices. we should mention two weeks earlier when i asked the president at a press conference why he didn't have more female choices, he had only had one in his list, he conceded that he knew the parliament would reject a lot of his choices and he told me he expects to have more and more females within this cabinet and women throughout the government. >> brooke. >> an tillal, thank you. >>> we will take an inside look at what is being called the world's newest, tallest building. first though, our random moment in 90 seconds. >
to attack this plane head today america. >> afghanistan's parliament delivering a stinging blow to karzai, voting down 17-24. karzai said he will make new nominations, it's unclear when. in another high stakes political issue the chief of afghanistan as election commission says a parliamentary vote will be held in may despite widespread international concerns. north carolina is going smoke free. effective today the leading tobacco producing state is banning in restaurants and bars and relative late comers in the tobacco ban. becoming 29th ban in restaurants and 24th for bars. any smoker or establishment that refuses to obey the law will face stiff fines. that's are the latest stories, back to you. >> shannon: thank you, caroline. national association of is your ban hospitals are calling on members of to rethink regulations, especially cutting medicare payments. molly henneberg takes a look how tt affect hospitals treating low income patients. >> at howard university hospital in washington d.c., also a level one trauma center, about 20% of patients walk in the door uninsured. although many
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